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Robert Fenwick Elliott 2005-2007

Fenwick Elliott Mallets


Croquet Booklets

John Riches Booklets

by John Riches
Australian National Coaching Director

December 2008

John Riches, the ACA's National Coaching Director, has recently completed writing five new booklets.  These are intended mainly for players who have a reasonable command of the basic strokes and are capable of playing breaks.

The booklets consist of between 25 and 45 pages and almost every page has colour diagrams.  This, together with the fact that they are aimed at a specialist and limited market, makes the booklets rather expensive; but those who have seen them consider them good value nevertheless.   

For purchasers in Australia, the cost is $AUS 33 per booklet, including GST.  In Australia, the packaging and postage cost varies between $AU2 for 1 booklet up to $AU15 for all 5 booklets in the one parcel.

For International purchasers the cost is $AU30 per booklet. International package and postage costs vary between $AU6 for 1 booklet up to $AU40 for all 5 booklets, depending on the destination.

This is intended for coaches of players who are improving, but contains much of interest to the players themselves.  It covers the effective teaching of such important tactical ideas as hoop loading, trap-lines, standard and ideal leaves, etc.

This is an explanation of all the common openings, and also some uncommon ones.  It explains the aim of each opening, how to answer it, and how to continue after various possible continuations.  Nowadays players who enter major events must be prepared for a number of possible openings that may be used by their opponents.

Most players do not get sufficient practice at playing endgames against strong opposition.  This booklet covers topics such as when to make 4-back (and when not to), when to peg a ball out (and when not to), how to play with two balls against one, or one ball against two, or one ball against one, etc..  It does not cover triple peels or sextuple peels which other authors have written about.

This booklet is mainly for people who enjoy getting out on the lawn and messing around with balls to find out what can, and cannot, be achieved.
It covers more than 25 different types of cannon, explaining how to arrange them, how to play them, and how to use them to set up breaks and so increase your chance of winning games.


Not to be confused with an earlier booklet called "Croquet: Error Correction" which really was about error recognition rather than correction, this booklet explains in detail how a coach (or player) can go about correcting errors in technique.  There is also a section on hampered strokes (sweeps, slides, off-centre roquets, rebound shots, brush shots, Pirie Poke, etc.) with detailed illustrations, explaining how to use them to get out of trouble.

All five booklets are guaranteed to contain ideas that will never have occurred to most players, and which can bring about a noticeable improvement in your ability to win games.


The booklets can be ordered from :-


Gavin Bow, PO Box 78, Meadows, SA 5201 Australia, Phone  08 8388  3971 or 0418 884181


Or by Email        gavin@insearchoftheperfectmallet.com 


When you place an Email order you will be sent a Paypal invoice for the amount appropriate to your location. This invoice can be paid by credit card.  You can also pay by bank to bank transfer or cheque. 


CROQUET SECRETS (Advance notice)

Early in 2009 a single book containing material from all of the 10 booklets by John Riches  -  old and new  -  plus about 100 articles that have been published in croquet magazines over the years, will become available via "Thecroquetprofessionals" website.  (A Google search will quickly find the website, with further details on how to order the book.)  It will not have colour illustrations as do the 5 new booklets, and some of the older material is now a little out-dated, but at about US$60 plus postage it will represent excellent value.  The book has been compiled and edited by Wayne Davies of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, USA; Wayne is the US agent for Fenwick Elliott Mallets.